DAVID MAXWELL
1943 - 2015
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Maxwell, David Of Concord, MA , 71, renowned and award winning pianist, composer and producer, died Friday, February 13, 2015. His family honored David's request for privacy during his 8-year valiant effort to battle advanced prostate cancer. David has been acknowledged as one of the finest blues pianists in his lifetime for the many different styles of blues, boogie-woogie, jazz, world and improvised music. He played with some of the greatest and well-known musicians including Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, Skip James, John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Freddie King, Hubert Sumlin, Louisiana Red, and Levon Helm, to name just a few . He has received countless accolades from artists, critics, fans, the press and media.David has often been compared to Otis Spann, the great blues pianist for Muddy Waters, whom he first met in his hometown of Boston in the 1960's and who changed the course of his musical direction. David's "Conversations in Blue: David Maxwell / Otis Spann" CD won the 2012 Acoustic Album of the Year Blues Music Award (BMA) from the Blues Foundation. His latest CD, ""Blues in Other Colors" received wide-spread acclaim for his fusing of traditional blues, using non-western instruments, with music from other countries. More details can be found on his website at www.davidmaxwell.com.Born in Waltham in 1943, he grew up in Lexingon, MA. He started studying classical piano at age nine and later attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. David is survived by his wife, Martha Coughlan of Concord, MA, his sister,Judy Maxwell, of New York City, his sister, Tania Maxwell and her husband Chris Osborne of Cambridge, MA, and his niece Annabelle Winne and her husband David Rigo and their sons Noah and Ben of Missoula, MT. In lieu of flowers, please become a member of the Blues Foundation and vote before March 1st for David to win the W.C. Handy 2015 Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Blues Music Award, for which he has been nominated numerous times. Please go to www.blues.org/membership/. Donations can also be made to the Pinetop Perkins Foundation to provide encouragement and support for youth and young people at the beginning of their musical career; and help provide care and safety for elderly musicians at the twilight of their career. info@pinetopperkinsfoundation.org A memorial service celebrating David's life will be held in the Spring.


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Published in Boston Globe from Feb. 15 to Feb. 16, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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62 entries
August 3, 2015
Rest easy Mr. Maxwell.......
Adrian W. Joseph, Sr.
May 20, 2015
I am very sad to find this today, David helped me get my music career started when I produced some of his music with George Lewis. They became my Boston family, the rest is history. David will be missed. Safe travels my friend.
Robert Mann
April 18, 2015
Peace "Like a River"
Good Morning - I am Deeply Saddened this morning to Here of David's passing. I got to meet & jam with David back in Arlington on a Chance encounter when I called Him for some Piano Lessons. He let me Jam Harmonica with Him at His Home and I was "Blessed". I'm a Bluegrass & Folk musician. I took my wife Denise to see Him at the Charles Hotel when we first got married & "She" got to meet Him also and enjoyed His Blues ! I believe "Maybe" He was checkin in with me this morning from a Much Higher & Happier Demention of "Love" and maybe He's met my Dad Up There who used to Play Hammond Organ at a Church in Bangor,Maine. "David" Big Brother, "I" can "Never" ever Thank You enough for Meeting and knowing you & The Priceless Lessons of Deep Blues that you taught me. They will Last Forever in my Heart.. Watch over us Dear Brother "For" we know that you are with Christ the Lord and Still Playing. Deep Blessings of the Grandfather God as the "Hopi Indian Elders say on David's Family. Many tears, Yet Much Love. Peter & Denise Maccioli Stinchfield. Reading, Massachusetts.
Peter Stinchfield
April 7, 2015
A dieu l ami................
Nefly driss
March 20, 2015
J.ai la chance de rencontrer DAVID MAXWELL a casablaca MOROCCO en 1994 ,IL nous manquera un des plus grands musiciens,Prieres a la famille
said nefly
March 19, 2015
You were a good friend and a great bluesman. You played for me as I walked down my wedding isle and put the boogie in my step. God bless. RIP Dave. You will be greatly missed.
Sherri Lewis
February 24, 2015
His work lives on to remember we just listen and enjoy
Frank Roach
February 21, 2015
David had a great ride and has gifted us all with his rich music and loving personality. Never to be forgotten. Sleep well old friend. There's a serious card game going on in heaven. Laurie Toner
February 20, 2015
i knew david since 1965 , he was a good friend and a great musician , and i will miss him very much we shared alot of great musical moments and im sure he has already found spann ,pinetops and sunnyland and they are probably having a few drinks together and reminisncing about old times and im sure spann will introduce David to Big Maceo Davids in a good place. God Bless Him. He is a great blues man.
paul oscher
Paul Oscher
February 20, 2015
He was a nice dude and had a real knack for the Blues.
Bruce Gertz
February 20, 2015
We have lost an amazing musician and person. I am saddened today.
February 20, 2015
One of the great blues pianists. R.I.P. David Maxwell, my friend. Thank you for the great music and the many fun times shared. You will be missed. My condolences.
Donal Fox
February 19, 2015
It was meaningful and a rare opportunity to make music with you Max. . . Otto L
Otto Lenz
February 19, 2015
Such a talented musician . I have a awesome New Years Memory of you .Great show .God Bless
Pamela
February 19, 2015
a great musician will be missed,condolences to the family
jim-charli casey
February 19, 2015
A master of the piano who in addition to his own work brightened the concerts and recordings of others.Musicians and blues fans alike praise his life's work and mourn his passing.
Bob Nelson
February 19, 2015
I feel so fortunate I had the opportunity to see this wonderful musician perform. He will be missed.
Paul Maloney
February 19, 2015
When I was a teenager, guys like Dave Maxwell and Ron Levy were onstage with the blues greats I was discovering, and they showed what could be done by a kid from the Northeast who loved the blues, but sometimes felt less than adequate.

Otis was a hero of mine too, and I always recognized Dave as the carrier of that torch. Now we all want to be more than we are, but as time wears on, we find what our real strengths are, and Dave Maxwell found his.

Chapeau, Max.
Al Copley
February 18, 2015
It's comforting to read all these wonderful remembrances of David. His music and his memory will live on. His tremendous abiities are matched inversely by his humility. Only when he sat down at the piano bench and stretched out those long fingers...and you heard that left hand start to move...then you knew you were in the presense of greatness.
ET Bond
February 17, 2015
One of the most mesmerizing pianists. A very nice person.
Dawn O'Keefe Williams
February 17, 2015
Such a fabulous musician. Very friendly and down to earth. We will miss you David.
February 17, 2015
David truly had a left hand like God! He was a musical force that transcended many genres and was a joy listen to and work with. He was always in awe of the talent that came before him, but was ever humble about his own rightful musical legacy. He was polite, fun, professional and deeply gifted. He is already missed. Godspeed.
Keith Irtenkauf
February 17, 2015
David was a sweet man with a gentle sense of humor. I will miss his friendship and UKTS sauna companionship. David was a the coolest of cool. He's now another star in the night, twinkling his love from above, a piano playing blues in the distance.
Bob Cote
February 17, 2015
He will be missed. One of the best blues pianists of his generation. Condolences to his family and many friends.
Pat Beaudry
February 17, 2015
David was simply the besta sweet man with an amazing talent..he we be sorely missed by the blues community and everyone he touched with his music and his kind disposition. Condolences to his family. RIP David
Cheryl Arena
February 17, 2015
A great man will be missed. Not only a very fine musician, but a very nice person. It was a privilege to hear him play in Costa Rica. Our condolences to all his family and friends in Boston.

Andre Boswell and Myra Keith
Myra Keith
February 17, 2015
He played more like Otis than Otis....and then some!!!
Larry Luddecke
February 17, 2015
Our condolences and prayers go out to David's family and friends. May he rest in eternal peace. From all of your fans at PBS 106-7 FM, Melbourne Australia
Peter Merrett
February 17, 2015
I have watched and been awe struck by David's piano playing since the early 80's.. I once commented to another musician that he was the Pinetop Perkins of our generation. Sometimes he played so fast I had trouble seeing his fingers and at other times he played such low down, soulful blues that it almost tore my heart out. I got to work with him one time for a night down on Cape Cod for a private function that I hired him for and it was a highlight evening in my career. I am going to really miss hearing Dave and his loss is huge for the Blues community. A real gentleman..
Tall Richard Roquemore
February 16, 2015
May the memories of his talent and performances be a blessings for all. I had the honor and pleasure of lessons with him - and wondered how his fingers could fly so (and play those 10th chords!!). Condolences and comfort to the mourners of his family and friends. He will be deeply missed. May his spirit live on!
Sara G
February 16, 2015
The band in Heaven just got the best damn honky tonk piano player ever. I knew David really well for over 50 years and can hear his trademark deep bass voice saying "YEAH" when we would shake hands he would snap his fingers as part of the West Indies" handshake ritual that we always parted with. Oh the stories I could tell.....Man oh Man do I miss this cat.
Michael Kaplan
February 16, 2015
I'm so sorry to hear this news. Had the honor of playing with David Maxwell in 2005.
https://archive.org/details/092005ShortSissyWithDavidMaxwell
Jeremy Esposito
February 16, 2015
I had the great privilege to sing with David once at one of his free-form jam sessions...and the even greater privilege of briefly calling him my student, when he learned Indian classical music with me.

David was a man of huge integrity and equally huge talent. His basso profundo is no doubt joined with the Great Hum to which all musicians ultimately resolve. Farewell, you good man.

Warren Senders
February 16, 2015
A very fine man... I am speechless... Now listening to him and Fred on Blues In Other Colors will have a different feeling... I wish peace for the hearts of those who are left behind.
Nihat Tokdil
February 16, 2015
A great musician and a great gentleman. I first saw David in the early 70's sitting in with Muddy at Paul's Mall. I was lucky to see him and luckier to have a camera. Three photos of David from that night are in my book. In 2013, David came to my show at the Newton Free Library. He arrived late, and with no seats left, I took down the piano bench from the stage. That's where he sat. That's where he belonged.
Terry Abrahamson
February 16, 2015
I was a student of David's, and learned much during the time we spent together. He was genuinely a very nice man, down to earth, and very supportive. I send deepest condolences to his family and friends. One of the best, gone way too soon.
skip mahler
February 16, 2015
One of my first mentors in Boston when we were both in the Colwell Winfield Band. My prayers and deep thoughts go out to David, Martha and his family. He was a great charismatic and thoughtful guy and simply the best blues piano player of our time.
James Montgomery
February 16, 2015
Thank you Max , and my condolences to the family & many friends .
Ms Katherine Simpson
Katherine Simpson
February 16, 2015
Lexington 2006 - band
Amy Carlin
February 16, 2015
Lexington 2006 - band at break
Amy Sklivas Carlin
February 16, 2015
Lexington 2006
I will miss you David for your music, your grace, and your sense of humor. The blues/jazz world is losing a great talent, and the Boston music scene will not be as bright. Miss you David!
Amy Sklivas Carlin
February 16, 2015
My prayers and condolences to David'd Family. It was a privilege to know and perform with David over the years. Thank you for all of your amazing music.
David
David Moore
February 16, 2015
Loved David's blues - and his sense of humor. Thinking of him thankfully for everything he shared with the blues world. Lady K (Boston Blues Society)
February 16, 2015
On behalf of the Knickerbocker All Stars, our deepest sympathies to David's family.
jp sheerar
February 16, 2015
On behalf of the Knickerbocker All Stars, we will sadly miss one of are own. David's contribution to music, his creativity and skill will never be surpassed.
jp sheerar
February 16, 2015
David was one of those musicians that was just a force of nature. It was part of his person. Even though he was a giant he never let on that he was capable of creating such joy to his audience. If I had to pick one word to describe David it would be "generous".

I first met David when he came into Smoken' Joe's BBQ one night. He said he would like to play the room. I was floored but told him we could never afford what he was worth. He said he just wanted to do it and so we did - many times. And he was genuinely interested in the health of the club. David was one of those rare artists I was lucky to meet over the years who were so at peace with themselves that they seemed to be selfless in their performance as well as life.
He would literally give it all away to those around him. I am glad to have known you David Maxwell.

Wendy Dodd
Wendy Dodd
February 16, 2015
It was an honor to do sound for you, to watch you perform, and to receive your support and friendship in my writing career. Music makes the world beautiful and you contributed to that beauty by touching the lives of so many with your musical artistry and extraordinary personality.
Rest in peace, David.
Angel Logan
February 16, 2015
It was an honor to know him, to produce one of his recordings, and to share the stage with him. Irreplaceable and forever remembered! May his spirit and soul be blessed.
Tino
February 15, 2015
My condolences to David's family along with much gratitude for sharing him with the world and giving him the support one needs so much to pursue a musical career.
Thank you David for all you gave not only to blues fans worldwide, but especially to the Blues Community and your many friends and fans here in Boston. May you RIP.
Pj Celi
February 15, 2015
I.ve been very aware of his incredible talent for a very longtime. I recently met him in person @ the Stubbies Jam in Allston. He was a real gentleman and a very kind soul. Grief has no value so cherish his legacy and enjoy the warm memories of joy. His music will live on forever. I am very thankful to have known him. May his Soul Rest in Peace. Condolenses. JT
February 15, 2015
Thanks David for all of your Boston Blues Festival performances with Hubert Sumlin, Louisiana Red, The Brewer Phillips Memorial Jam...
Greg Sarni
February 15, 2015
Manhattan
David was kind enough to back me up on piano to one of my Original Songs a few years ago. He will be missed greatly by everyone here on the Island (Bequia,The Grenadines). Hope our spirit cross again friend. RIP !! See U around. xox Amanda Gooding
Amanda Gooding
February 15, 2015
David you were a legend and will be sorely missed. RIP.
My condolences.
Peter Cahill
February 15, 2015
Heaven done called another blues player back home, from a lowly player in Canada thanks for the music and my heart goes out to the family
Justin Aron
February 15, 2015
You will always be my friend, and part of the Best of my life. When we first met, at The Dell, Columbus OH, you amazed me with your musical prowess. You were on tour, Live & Unplugged w James Cotton & Luther Tucker (circa '92). Your embarrassed humility when I asked for your autograph along w James & Luther is both a cherished memory & a fine example of your character. I am proud to know you; was elated that you agreed to join my Bucket List CD project - without the slightest hesitation. I will always remember you all the days of my life. God bless you; the world was a better place w you in it. Your friend, JT Lotozo/Columbus Blues Alliance.
JT Lotozo
February 15, 2015
May David's name be for a blessing on all who knew him as well as those who enjoyed his music. David, thank you for your friendship. Deep sympathy to family and close colleagues.
Suzanne Swanson
February 15, 2015
I want to offer my condolences to David's family. Know that he is STILL with you...in your hearts and memories.Here's a wonderful display of David's expertise on the piano. He will live on in our hearts and our ears!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRLxTKdmodI&feature=youtu.be
Ms Marci Hooper
February 15, 2015
good bye my friend, you introduced me to your world of music and friends when I was a young kid working at the Ale & Bun. Thank you for a life time if memory's I'm going to miss you David.
Bill H
Bill Hallinan
February 15, 2015
My Prayers and Condolences to Family. It was a honor to be one of his Friends.

Hattie and Shor'ty Billups
Hattie Barrett
February 15, 2015
(12 bar, quick 4, medium tempo, blues in Cm)

So sad, sad to see you go.
So sad, so sad to see you go.
There won't never be another, another one like you, that I know.

Rest easy now, rest easy,
we'll meet again one fine day.
Rest easy, rest easy,
we'll meet again one fine day.
No worries about tomorrow,
'cause time won't slip away.

Rest easy David.
Amyl Justin
February 15, 2015
Dave's passing Is a huge loss to the music world and his many fans. Condolences to his family and friends. He was a wonderfully, talented performer and a great guy.
Karen Nugent, Boston Blues Society
February 15, 2015
He was a real two handed piano player. He surpassed all the people he learned from and kept on going. Not many could pick up where he left off.
David Birkin
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